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SBD/March 26, 2013/Colleges
FGCU Deals With Fan, Media Frenzy After NCAA Wins; Merchandise Selling Rapidly
Published March 26, 2013
ALREADY A WINNER: FORBES.com’s Chris Smith wrote while FGCU “only just captured America’s attention, they have spent the last few years quietly becoming one of their conference’s most profitable teams.” After “stunning the world twice in the last week,” the school is “about to hop onto quite the financial gravy train.” The Eagles “lost a quarter of a million dollars” in ‘04-05 and “continued losing money” through ‘09-10, when they reported losses of more than $30,000. But the Eagles have “managed to increase their basketball revenue by an average 25% per year over the last five,” and in ‘10-11 the team “crossed into the black.” Last year FGCU’s basketball revenue “broke $1 million for the first time, helping the team generate more than $60,000 in profit, the second-most of any team from the Atlantic Sun” (FORBES.com, 3/25).
LATE-NIGHT LAUGHS: FGCU was a big topic during the late-night talk shows last night, with CBS' David Letterman saying, "Are you all excited about March Madness? ... Every year what they do is try to hope for a Cinderella team, a team that’s underrated or overlooked that comes through, knocks off the big dogs. Well guess what? It’s happening this year. It’s a college called Florida Gulf Coast University. It’s a pretty good school. You either go there to play basketball or you major in oil spills” (“Late Show,” CBS, 3/25). NBC's Jay Leno said, "The biggest Cinderella story of the NCAA Tournament so far, 15th seed Florida Golf Coast University, has made it to the Sweet 16, first team ever to do it. So congratulations to FGCU. That sounds like a nasty text message, doesn’t it? My girlfriend just told me to go FGCU myself" ("The Tonight Show," NBC, 3/25). ABC's Jimmy Kimmel said, "Florida Gulf Coast University beat San Diego State yesterday to become the first 15 seed ever to make the Sweet 16, which was a shock to every basketball expert in the world, other than my cousin Mickey. Despite the fact that Mickey picked FGCU and no one else did, she is currently ranked 69th out of 69 in our office pool" ("Jimmy Kimmel Live," ABC, 3/25).